Purpose: To overcome the difficulty of poor signal-to-noise ratio of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in evaluating heavy iron overload by using a single voxel magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) technique. Materials and Methods: A single voxel STEAM pulse sequence with a minimum TE of 1.5 msec and a sampling volume of 36.6 cm3 was developed and applied to 1/T2 measurement of the liver in 14 patients with thalassemia whose liver iron concentration was determined through biopsy. Results: The iron level ranged from 0.23 to 37.15 mg Fe/g dry tissue with a median value of 18.06. In all cases, strong MR signals were obtained. 1/T2 was strongly correlated with the liver iron concentration (r = 0.95, P < 0.00005). Conclusion: The single voxel MRS measurement of T2 in liver iron overload overcomes the difficulty of lack of detectable signals in conventional MRI when the iron level is high. There is an excellent correlation between the iron level and 1/T2.
- Iron overload
- MR spectroscopy
- Transverse relaxation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging